The beauty about growing up in Singapore, having a Chinese Malaysian father, and a Chinese-Indian Malaysian husband (yes, I followed my mother's footsteps in marrying a malaysian!) is that I get expose to other kinds of food other than traditional Cantonese. Ayam stands for chicken, and Kecap means dark sweet soy sauce. It's a marriage between chinese and malay cuisine really.
At first I thought it is a curry dish. But really, it's more of a spiced stew, probably borderlining being a curry. It requires time to simmer which as you know is abit of a luxury for me these days but once I got into it, I really enjoyed the process.
The colour of the dish comes from the dark soy sauce. It has a generous chill hit and lovely texture to it. Yum!
Ayam Kecap (serves 4)
500 grams chicken thighs -or you can use drumsticks/chicken pieces
3 onions chopped
4 big red chill chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
6 whole cloves
1 tsp tamarind pulp soaked in around 3 tbsp warm water
2-3 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
pinch of salt
In a food processor, blitz chopped onions, garlic and chili. Heat paste in a pan. When warm and cooked, add chopped chicken thighs and cook till brown. Then add nutmeg and cloves. If it is a little dry, add some of the tamarind juice. Simmer for 3-4 minutes and add the rest of the tamarind juice with the soy sauce. If still dry, add some water (I didn't see the need to do that). Taste, adjust seasoning and simmer chicken for another 20 minutes or so.
food brings people together, regardless of culture and country of origin. imagine this space like a huge dining table-filled with home cooked food, with people sharing, loving and eating. eat and enjoy.